Sunday, January 29, 2023

Arms Act: Bengaluru Court convicts BJP MLA G Somashekara Reddy for failing to renew license

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A Special Bengaluru court has recently convicted the BJP Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) G Somashekara Reddy under the Arms Act for not depositing his revolver in a police station after failing to renew its license.

The Court later released him under the Probation of Offenders Act, understanding well that this would not have a bad impact on society.

Based on a report filed by the Bellary District Probation Officer, the Special Judge Preeth J, gathered that there were no other criminal cases against the MLA and that he was involved in social work.

The Court has ruled that the offence committed was not grave compared to other offences under the Act.

The Court also considered the background of Reddy as per the officer’s report, which showed him repenting for committing the offence.

The Court also said that the offence committed by the accused is not a grave offence as compared to other offences under the Arms Act.

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The complaint was filed against Reddy by the District Commissioner, Bellary, who alleged that after the weapon’s license of Reddy expired in 2009, he unlawfully kept weapon in his possession for nearly two years. Hence, a case was registered against him under Section 25(1-B)(h) of Arms Act.

The counsel of Reddy argued that he voluntarily deposited the revolver in November 2011, after the by-elections for the State Legislative Council were declared.

The Counsel of Reddy also informed the Court that he applied for renewal a week later, after which the concerned authority collected a sum of ₹360 from him to renew his license, and therefore by its conduct, condoned the delay.

For explaining the reason for the delay in renewal, the minister said that it was due to the work pressure also he had lost the license briefly when his house was being renovated.

The Court, however, ruled,that this two fold defence is not at all appealable to the conscious of this court, because, both the limbs cannot sail together, it should have either been work pressure or lost and found theory.

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The Court added that the acceptance of late fee by the authority will not mean that he can get away away from the mandate under sub-section (1) of Section 21 of the Arms Act, ordering the deposit of the weapon to the nearest police station on expiry of license.

The accused said that he should have been intimidated for renewal of the license by the complainant, but no notice was given to him.

The Court underlined that the complaint was not filed for non-renewal, but was filed because the accused failed to deposit the revolver in a police station.

It, therefore, convicted the MLA under Section 25(1-B)(h) of the Arms Act.

However, the convict was released on probation for good conduct subject to certain conditions and was directed to appear before the Court quarterly to file his affidavit for non-violation of the conditions.

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